sjt

Ultimate I from Iowa Quilting Ltd. at AQPS address--a good machine?

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Does anyone have experience with the Ultimate I from Iowa Quilting Ltd., which is at the same address at AQPS in Carroll, IA? I assume from its appearance and address that the Ultimate I must be an AQPS machine. The machine is said to have been bought at a state fair demonstration about 20 years ago. It has a 14-foot wooden bed, and has been in home use since that time. I have several questions:

1. Is it a reliable machine?

2. Are there parts and service available from APQS and its network of dealers?

3. What do I give up by not buying a more modern machine?

4. What is the approximate price that such machines go for?

5. Is this a good place to start with long-arm quilting without parting with an arm and leg?

Thanks for any and all advice.

sjt

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I own an Ultimate I (Ulti) from that same era and use it several days a week. The Ulti is an extremely reliable machine as it is the machine the Millenium evolved from, but basic and bare bones. Yes, you can get any parts needed from APQS, and the customer service is awesome. The price really depends on how its been used and its condition. I'm not sure about a wooden table and how sturdy or accurate it would be as mine has a metal frame that I have updated. I have also added the 'Intellistitch' stitch regulation (excellent after-market stitch regulation you can learn about at intellistitch.com) and love it. You cannot have stitch regulation added on through APQS on this machine but the brand I just mentioned is who does. These old original bare-bone long arms are out there and you can find them from $2000 to $4000, and there may be normal wear and tear parts to replace or update.

There's a lot more info I can give you , and you can message me here and ask any questions you would like. You really cannot go wrong with an APQS machine and they last forever.


A865FFE96B99D13D2E3C09AF2B8376EA.png
2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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Sure thing! I have an Ult 1 which I bought used from APQS several years ago. I LOVE it! It IS a bare bones machine, which is exactly what I wanted. I have needed to do various maintenance things & parts are absolutely available from APQS & the service support is the best. The Milli is basically an Ult 1 with bells & whistles. I upgraded to ergonomic handles before the machine was sent to me & I'm glad I did. I've also replaced the original wheels with Edgeriders & then again with the M & M wheels. I highly recommend that upgrade as well. I can do anything with that machine including ruler work w/o the stitch regulator. The stitches are beautiful & if you're looking for a great, reliable machine, you've found it. Keep us posted, welcome to the forum!


Caren E. Martin

Ult 1

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I have one more important topic for a used Ulti I: what are the key things to evaluate on a well-used machine--what should be on my checklist for potential or common wear points. Here are some that I anticipate:

1. Are the wheels and tracks absolutely clean, smooth, and true as you move the machine around?

2. Do all of the lubrication points show signs of being used regularly (what lube points should we look at)?

3. Does the machine run smoothly at all speeds?

4. Is the table in good condition

5. ???

Thanks again,

sjt

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I bought a machine that is even older than the one you are considering and it has definitely been the right decision for me. I bought an Ultimate XX, because it was affordable for me at the time. I just could not justify the expense of a newer machine when I did not know if I would really like longarm quilting (or be very good at it). I was very worried that since my Ult XX is so old, that I would have difficulty finding parts and information. However, it seems that the basic parts of the machines have hardly changed at all. There is sooooo much information available from APQS and on this forum, that I can't imagine you having a problem that can't be fixed. I have managed to re-time my machine, see that I needed a new hook assembly, install it and re-time again by using the video on you tube and the handout that came with the hook assembly. I have had so many questions, and have been able to find answers for them all. I feel like I enrolled in a class when I bought the Ult XX, and got an "A" when I had her all tuned up and sewing beautifully.

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Well my dear, you can even hook up a computer to your UI if the right electronic parts are installed on it. Check your wheels and the bolts holding up your intake bar. They are the most things that go bad on that table. You might want to add two by fours on the legs as well for stability. It tends to lean forward if the machine gets off balance . Zeke......


C9A05C30E468F98BDBF3AA2DFD951ECF.png

by the hour.........................

APQS Ultimate I/Compuquilter

Millennium

ztrbrg@yahoo.com

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Hi,

I have an Ult. 1 and love her. Great basic machine, the only thing I upgraded was to M&M wheels, it has been well worth the money. My had been sitting for 6 years in a gargae and I oiled her up and cleaned her up and she was run like a top for the last year. I have been able to get parts from APQS when I have needed them. I don't have tension issues and she loves all threads so far. Just go slowly and play with the machine if you decide to get one. I do have the square tubbing frame.


2E15EF68F686C8EF89B3A71C7DE27754.png

Ult.1

"Live every day, like you were dieing"

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Great! The net message is that Ulti I is a good place to start, and that the company and it's loyal community of quilters stand ready to help. Now, we are looking at the rest of the market to get an idea of what price we should be paying, and one question remains:

Is Intellistitch stitch regulation a highly desirable accessory for these machines?

It seems that for the Ulti I, the regulator would provide a set of handles (if for no other thing than to make a spot for the push-buttons) the ability to choose to have the needle finish up or down, and the basic regulation functions. If we think that regulation is the way to go, then the machine's final price is really the initial price plus the cost of the regulator, putting us above $6,000. At that point, we have to consider what other kinds of used machines are available for $6,000-7,000, not just the $2,000-4,000 that the bare machine costs.

Opinions?

Thanks,

sjt

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The Intelllistitch stitch regulator is a very desirable feature. It moves the Ult 1 into the same category as the more modern machines. The only difference is the roller configuration of the table. You can use it as is, modify the roller assembly, or replace the table. I rebuilt the roller assembly on my Ult 2 and added the intellistitch stitch regulator, and am very happy. It's every bit as good as the Lenni's currently being sold. You might stumble on a comparable used machine in the $6k-$7k price range, but they don't come along too often, Not all longarms a created equal. The APQS, Gammills, A-1 Elite, Nolting, Innova, and Prodigys are in a class by themselves. The others on the market are second line machines in my opinion. You can use the machine w/o upgrading it and buy this feature later if you want. You may decide that the unregulated machine serves your needs just fine. And user support by APQS is outstanding. BTW the wooden table is just fine. Just make sure there's no play between the legs and the top, and that the top is level. A little "fiddling" to set it up is all that's required. Jim

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I agree with Jim on the Intellistitch and also his other statements. I do not regret paying the $2950 for it as my stitching has improved by that much for sure. Others have the older Ulti's and have not updated to the Intellistitch, but I needed to due to shoulder issues that really caused issues moving the machine around. I also added the M&M wheels, but the head is still heavy, and the stitch regulation took a lot of stress off my machine handling. I can slow down to think ahead as I'm quilting and not have stitches build up, and when I get into the music and really take off I no longer have elongated stitches. These were my issues and why I decided to add the stitch regulation on (which I didn't do until after I had the machine for a year). Good luck in your search, and hopefully we'll see you back here as an owner of an APQS!


A865FFE96B99D13D2E3C09AF2B8376EA.png
2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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Hi Ladies--

My husband just purchased me a 20 year old Ult 1 yesterday!!.. He did research and insisted that I look at it. We were both instantly drawn to it because of the simplicity in set up and operation and the quality of the table and machine itself. I have experience on the Gammill and the Handi-Quilter, so I am not intimidated by it, yet, I need some support to help me with the transition. Where to get supplies, etc. Right now it is in pieces on my sun porch because it is too large for any other room in the house, but that will be an excellent source of light, so I am happy. Are there service technicians who will come to my home to clean and service it periodically? The previous owner said that the machine needs very little maintenance and rarely requires oiling? She also praised the use of pre-wound bobbins, but I don't have a good track record with pre-wound bobbins, so I am asking for some advice from all of you Ult 1 owners out there. I plan to read the manual this week, but thought posting on this site might get me some great advice that you can never get in a manual. I can't wait to get started! Wish I could have done my Christmas gifts on it for this year, but you know I will get on that for 2013! Thanks for sharing your expertise with me and Happy Holidays! shamrockgirl in Charlottesville, Virginia

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Hi Shamrockgirl,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new machine. You asked about service calls, there are two APQS dealers in Virginia http://www.apqs.com/...-a-dealer/?s=VA, they may be able to help you. If not Dave Jones, Deloa's husband spends a lot of time of the road and does make house calls if he is in your area, http://www.deloasquiltshop.com. I am sure that you will soon be having fun with your machine!


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Hi Shamrockgirl, Welcome, and congrats on an ulti I - I own one over 20 years old, also, and can get any parts I would need just by calling APQS. You do need to oil the wicks you see on top of the head and on the left front side (when I touch them and get a little oil left on my finger I know there is enough on them), as well as the bobbin case before you start sewing each day. You can ask all sorts of questions here about your concerns as there are quite a few Ulti I owners out here yet. By the way, what is your serial #? It is under the head up front where the needle bar is, and it is pressed in to the metal. Mine is 265 - a testament to the quality of these machines!!!


A865FFE96B99D13D2E3C09AF2B8376EA.png
2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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